After 3 disappointing months, we can take a small sigh of relief in seeing the volume of North American Class 8 orders increase. In June, the second highest numbers were reached this year. No one can say if this is the beginning of a consistent trend or rebound, but for now it’s positive. Preliminary net orders jumped just over 23% from 12,979 a year ago, to 16,000 this year, same timeframe. The market’s return will be a slow process as the impact of COVID-19 continues. However, just remember back in April, orders plummeted to a low not seen since 1995:
- Freightliner Class 8 retail sales for 2019 = 8,209; and for 2020 = 4,315
- Kenworth Class 8 retail sales for 2019 = 3,755 while 2020 = 2,290
- International Class 8 retail sales for 2019 = 3,537 while for 2020 = 1,961
- Peterbilt Class 8 retail sales for 2019 = 3,842 vs 2020 = 1,553
- Mack Class 8 retail sales for 2019 =1,924 vs 2020 = 1,063
- Volvo Class 8 retail sales for 2019 =2,199 vs 2020 = 951
- Western Star Class 8 retail sales for 2019 =558 vs 2020 = 504
Some notable points:
- Long-haul trips in April and May were noticeably down as container imports at ports became scarce; meanwhile local trips (less than 100 miles) increased by more than 100%
- Almost 70% of specialty and tanker truck operations were disrupted
- When asked in a survey of the country’s economic status for the rest of 2020, most respondents perceptions were slightly pessimistic, citing freight movement and consumer spending to be lacking
- The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) has announced that Brake Safety Week will proceed as scheduled, August 23-29
- Driver Appreciation Week takes place Sept. 13-19, honoring commercial truck drivers for their hard work and commitment to the industry.
- Improvements in housing and industrial production may help push a recovery for truck freight, however the spikes in COVID-19 throughout the country are cause for a lot of uncertainty
While some businesses have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, some are just now entering phases that allow them to re-open. We hope that the truck market can continue to work in a positive direction.